Source: AssociatedNews.US
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Yoka Reeder


by Ariella Kapelner
What do you do when your child wrecks that expensive toy truck you bought him for Christmas?

The University of Michigan Pediatric Advisor suggests telling the child: “Don't break things, because they cost money and/or are hard to fix,” and advises “time out” for the child.

Yoka Reeder, a child specialist, a teacher of 30+ years and an international speaker and trainer (her DVDs “Yoka Reeder on Raising and Educating Children” are on sale on Amazon), has assisted parents to identify the reasons children destroy their belongings.

She advocates leaving children to do what they will with their belongings. “You can confuse a child by giving him something and then looking at it as if it were still yours. We parents have this habit which we find it difficult to break away from. But when you give your child a radio and then tell him he can only play it between 4:00 and 6:00, only in his room, not too loud, and never that kind of music, don't be surprised that he wrecks that radio.

Consider this: when you give your child a gift, it is no longer yours. Imagine that someone gave you a beautiful necklace and then told you when you could wear it! You'd probably say, “Wait a minute, is this my necklace, or what?” You would certainly resent anyone who gave you a present and then tried to control how you use it.”

Yoka recalls her personal experience: “My mother had a bad habit of giving me camel coats from this particular store in Amsterdam which I knew was expensive. When I was ten I promptly made it into a goal post. I thought that was a perfectly appropriate use of the coat: you make it a goal post and you play in the park. I was always in trouble because of that darn coat until I figured it out and lost the coat. My mother thought she was punishing me by letting me wear my older sister's jacket, but I was happy as a lark because that jacket was mine and my mother didn't care about it.

Your kid won't tell you to please take your gift radio back. He really wants the radio and he thinks maybe he can get away with using it the way he wants to and contrary to your instructions, or he may decide to fight shy. Your child may figure out that if he had ear-phones he could turn the volume way up, blast his eardrums off, and play it the way he really wants to when he wants to. And then he figures out where to hide the CDs you told him never to bring into the house. And this is how you turn him into a subversive. And then you wonder why he doesn't trust you.”

Ms. Reeder's DVDs “Yoka Reeder on Raising and Educating Children” are available on